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Bronze Star Medal (BSM)

The Bronze Star Medal was officially instituted by Executive Order 9419 on February 4th, 1944. It was based on the idea of Colonel Russell P. "Red" Reeder in 1943. He had launched the thought that it was good for the morale of the military when there was a decoration that could be awarded by Captains of a Company or Battery to the personnel who served under their command. Colonel Reeder saw this medal as the ground version of the Air Medal and first introduced the name "Ground Medal". At first the decoration was to be instituted with the U.S. Navy to be given to ground and surface personnel for heroic or meritorious deeds. For unknown reasons the institution did not occur. The idea was picked up by General George C. Marshall who wrote a memorandum to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The president instituted the medal the very next day.

The decoration could be awarded to any military who, serving within or together with the army of the United States after 6th December 1941, decorating himself by heoric or meritorious deeds as military, not participating in air operations, during military operations against an armed enemy or during an armed conflict in which the United States was not participating as a beligirent. The decoration could be awarded for the discribed heroic actions, not sufficient to be awarded the Silver Star or for meritorious actions or meritorious acting of service, which did not qualify for the awarding of the Legion of Merit. In 1947 the possibilities for awarding were enlarged. From that moment on the medal could also be awarded to any member of the United States Army that were mentioned in orders after December 6th, 1941 or who had received a certificate for exceptional service in goundbattle against an armed enemy between December 7th, 1941 and September 2nd, 1945 or who’s merit could be proven by documents dated before July 1st, 1947. This made it possible to award the Bronze Star to any person who had received the Combat Infantryman Badge or the Combat Medical Badge.
The Bronze Star can also be obtained by veterans or next of kinn. Military that took part in the struggle on the Philippines between December 7th, 1941 and May,10th 1942 could receive the medal when the action took place on Luzon, the Bataan peninsula or the Harbour Defences on Corregidor Island and were entitled to the Philippine Presidential Unit Citation. Military who had received the Purple Heart during the early days of the Second World War specifically for merit and not for wounds could in some occasions also exchange the Purple Heart for the Bronze Star. To any foreign soldier that fought in close coöperation with the United States Army, the decoration could also be awarded.

The Bronze Star Medal was designed by Rudolf Freund of Bailey, Banks and Biddle who also designed the Silver Star. The decoration measures 1,5 inch (38 mm) over all. In the middle there can be found another bronze star with a diametre of 3/16 inch (4,8 mm). All radials in the centre of both stars continue in one each other. The back bears the inscription "HEROIC OR MERITIOUS ACHIEVEMENT" and a space to ingrave the recipients name.

The medal hangs on a ribbon with a square loop and rounded corners. The ribbon measures 1 3/8 inch (35 mm) wide. Left and right can be fond a 1/32 inch (1 mm) wide white line, followed to the inside by a scarlet 9/16 inch (14 mm) broad band. In the middel can be fond an ultramarine blue band measuring 1/8 inch (3 mm) flanked by two 1/32 inch (1 mm) lines.

Every next Bronze Star awarded was to be shown by a bronze oak leaf cluster (US Army, Air Corps and Air Force) or a golden star (US Navy, Marines and Coast Guard). At every fifth award, the bronze and golden were replaced by a a silver oak leaf cluster or silver star. A bronze "V" for "Valor" was awarded when the Bronze Star was received for heoism in battle, thus distincting the award from the Bronze Stars warded for merit. This "V" was introduced in 1945. The action it was to be awarded for had to be of significant value. Only one "V" was permitted to be worn on the ribbon.

Abrams, Creighton Williams, Jr.* September 15th, 1914
† September 4th, 1974

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Adams, Lucian* October 26th, 1922
† March 31st, 2003
Plot: AI Grave: 555

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Adler, Samuel L.† April 20th, 1945
Plot: F Row: 11 Grave: 26

Grid List
NameDate of birthDate of deathAwards
Wade, Terrel G.   
Wadsworth, Wesley Frank 02-08-2011 
Wages, Paul E.   
Wagner, Robert T. 06-04-1945 
Wahl, George D.   
Wahlen, George Edward08-08-192405-06-2009more 
Waite, Dallas L.   
Waite, Robert E.   
Wakamatsu, Jack K.   
Walas, John 05-01-1945 
Walberg, Kenneth F.   
Walker, Billy Landers01-01-192618-11-1944 
Walker, Joseph A.   
Walker, Walton Harris03-12-188923-12-1950 
Wallace, Alexander S., Jr.   
Wallace, Jack B. 19-01-1945 
Wallace, Kenneth W.   
Wallace, Robert J.   
Walls, Ralph Waldo12-10-1919  
Walraven, Johnnie E.21-11-192225-06-2003 
Walsh, James K.   
Walsh, William J. "Bill"30-01-192531-01-1945 
Walske, Robert F. "Bob"17-08-192221-12-2007 
Walter, Grant W. 15-03-1945 
Walters, Hiram C.   
Wansborough-Jones, O. A.   
Ward, Harold L.   
Ward, Joseph H.05-03-191805-04-1945 
Ward, Richard E.   
Wardlaw, Hugh E.   
Ware, Keith Lincoln23-11-191513-09-1968more 
Warner, Richard H.   
Warner, William Charles   
Warren, Gene   
Warren, Trumbull   
Warriner, John S.   
Washko, Robert 20-09-1944 
Water, James W.   
Waters, John Henry   
Watkins, Herbert   
Watson, Henton09-06-1926 more 
Watts, Herbert C01-10-192402-12-2008 
Way, Norman W.   
Weathers, James Lon14-03-192617-11-2007 
Weathersby, Newton P. 06-06-1944 
Weaver, Robert J. 01-12-1987 
Webb, William R.   
Weber, William F.   
Webster, David Kenyon02-06-192209-09-1961more 
Wechsler, Ben Louis04-12-192130-06-1997 
Weicht, Ellis R.17-04-191603-12-1944 
Weigand, Jack L.   
Weinstein, Alvin N.   
Weinstein, Samuel H.00-00-1909 more 
Weis, Wayne F.   
Welch, Mark T.   
Wellings, Joseph Harold "Gus"23-04-1903  
Wells, Arthur F. 09-11-1944 
Wells, Marvin   
Welsh, Harry F.27-09-191821-01-1995more 
Wendt, James R., Jr.   
Wentworth-Fitzwilliam, William Thomas George25-05-190421-09-1979 
Wentz, Edgar   
Werner, Walter R.   
Wertz, Roger K.   
Wesson, H. K. 15-10-1944 
West, Henry C.   
Westfall, Frank M.   
Westmoreland, William Childs26-03-191418-07-2005more 
Wetherell, Horace "Hank"00-00-191305-06-1999 
Wetherholt, John   
Wetlaufer, Winston D.   
Weyand, Foster H.   
Weydant, Earl 30-12-1943 
Weyland, Otto Paul "Opie"27-01-190302-09-1979more 
Whalen, Edward P.   
Whalen, Wesley D.   
Wharton, Ulysses   
Wheatley, Dennis Yeats   
Wheeler, Charles E. 13-10-1944 
Wheeler, Louis C.   
Whelan, John J. E.   
White, Alonzo E.   
White, Byron Raymond "Whizzer"08-06-191715-04-0200 
White, Carrell E.   
White, Charles R.   
White, Dewey J.   
White, Howard R.17-09-191931-05-1962 
White, Junior D.   
White, Lawrence Kermit "Red"10-06-191205-04-2006more 
White, Maurice L.   
White, Raymond P.   
White, Robert B.26-03-192619-03-2006more 
White, Rupert E. 30-11-1944 
White, William Cecil16-07-191909-02-1958 
Whitehead, Ralph E.   
Whitely, Kenneth E., Jr.   
Whitlock, Richard F.   
Whitman, Franklin George Sr.00-00-192000-00-2012 
Whitney, James T. 03-08-1944 
Wickham, Herbert F.    
Wickliffe, Philemon T.   
Wicks, Melvin O.   
Widener, Clifford E.   
Widener, William J.   
Wiedorfer, Paul Joseph17-01-192125-05-2011 
Wiencek, Stanley C.   
Wigginton, Harold A.   
Wight, Frank H. Jr.   
Wilbur, William Hale24-09-188827-12-1979more 
Wilde, Russell C. 10-10-1998 
Wilds, George   
Wilkinson, Paul H.   
Will, Walter J.00-00-192230-03-1945 
Willett, Roger Lee   
Williams, Charles28-03-192108-11-1944 
Williams, Everette W.   
Williams, Laurin L.   
Williams, Leonard D.   
Williams, Nathanel David Ray26-11-191524-10-1967more 
Williams, Robert (US-274th INF) 24-02-1945 
Williams, Robert M.29-11-1916  
Williamson, Carl D. 18-09-1944 
Williamson, Marion Jr.   
Willingham, Chester M.   
Willis, Dave E.   
Wilson, Billie W.   
Wilson, Darrel.   
Wilson, Denver W.   
Wilson, George Barry27-03-189204-12-1949more 
Wilson, Grover   
Wilson, Harold D.   
Wilson, James C.    
Wilson, Joseph A.   
Wilson, Weldon W.   
Wimbley, Leon John00-07-192004-11-2011more 
Wing, Leonard Fish, Sr. "Red"12-11-189316-12-1945 
Wing, Wallace C.   
Wingate, William L.   
Winstead, Paul00-00-191000-00-1955 
Winston, Robert A.00-00-190703-06-1974more 
Winters, Richard Dick21-01-191802-01-2011more 
Wirtz, Clarence C.   
Wischmeier, Melvin E.   
Wise, Homer Lee27-02-191722-04-1974more 
Wise, Ralph Waldo Emerson26-01-191322-06-2003 
Wiseman, Donald John25-10-191802-02-2010 
Witherow, Boyd M.   
Withers, Albert W.   
Witkowsky, Edmund   
Witt, Leonard J.   
Witte, Raymond E.   
Wix, Clark   
Wohner, John H.   
Wolfe, Homer R.   
Wolfe, Joseph   
Womack, Leon   
Wood, Eric Fisher, Jr.25-01-191922-01-1945more 
Wood, Sterling A.   
Wood, Warren C.   
Wood, Weldon A.18-12-1920  
Woodruff, Roscoe Barnett "Woody" Sr.09-02-189124-04-1975more 
Woods, Charles D.   
Woodworth, Clayton M.   
Woody, Ronal E., Jr.   
Woolford, Leon M. Jr.   
Woychio, John   
Wozenski, Edward F.29-07-191526-07-1987more 
Wrabek, Roman R.   
Wren, Troy L.   
Wright, Cleo S.   
Wright, Elam Windom, Jr.20-10-192030-12-2002 
Wright, John K., III   
Wright, Russell E. 03-08-1945 
Wring, John E.   
Wujcik, Joseph J. 30-12-1944 
Wulkan, Bernard Dov Bar Ner00-00-192308-09-2016 
Wynn, John P. "Jack"00-00-1914  
Wynn, Robert "Popeye"10-07-192118-03-2000 

Sources